Third world concept

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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"Discuss Whether The Concept Of The 'Third World' Still Has Any Validity".

Assignment. Essay A: Firstly, in order to address this title, the term 'Third World' must first be defined in terms of it's origin and meaning. The industrial revolution in the nineteenth century led to Western-Europe and the United States becoming increasingly technological, industrialised and urbanised. This brought rise to the concept of a divided world; those nations that were developed and those that were more 'primitive'. The emergence of this concept of development led way for theories (which were generally accepted at the time) such as the development of nations happens in a linear process, and that to the benefit of more developed countries this process should be encouraged. Since then terminology has altered from descriptions such as 'backward' to 'Underdeveloped' to the present use of the phrase LEDC (Less Economically Developed Country). The group of LEDC's in question have been also referred to as the 'South', from the commonly referred to Brandt Report (1980), or the Report of the Independent Commission on International Development Issues.

This report stated that the 'rich developed' countries were located in the 'north', and that the 'poor undeveloped' or 'developing' countries were located in the 'south'. However, in this report the 'North/South' divide used in the Brandt Report will not be used, instead the use of the phrase 'Third World' will be used in its place. The phrase originally derives from France ('Tiers Monde') in the 1950's to describe the peasantry (the 'Third Estate') in pre-Revolutionary 1789 France. By the end of the 1960's however this concept was used to help describe the division of the worlds three main economic and political powers. These generalisations were increasingly used during the peak of the cold war as a method...